Minutes of Meeting— April 9, 2015
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts. At 7:00 PM, Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present: Lawrence Norris, Todd Pietrasiak, Dorothy Risser, Darja Nevits, Christopher Tibbals, Jill Schafer, Jason Mauro, Pamela Cooper, Jennifer Burke, Planning Director and Teresa Vickery, Clerk.
Petition 1060: 12 Wheeler Road, Variance
Present was: David Eastridge, Thorndike Development
Lawrence Norris convened the Public Hearing.
Dottie Risser read the Right of Appeal.
The applicant is seeking a variance under section 220.127.116.11 c under the Zoning By-Laws of the Town of Hudson to install front stoops within the allowed set-back requirement in the M-6 Industrial District.
Mr. Eastridge presented the petition to the Board. He informed the Board that there are twenty homes left for sale within the community. The total number of homes is 137, 33 of which construction has not yet begun and 12 that are currently under construction.
He explained that last fall a comprehensive as-built of the site was put together. A draft set of plans were thus drawn up. During this process it became evident that there was a discrepancy of the set-back between paved ways and front porches. There are seven location within the community that this encroachment appears. The encroachment of the set-back appears in the roof of the porch/portico. The encroachments range from 3 inches to 15 inches except for one that is 2.1 feet into the setback. The major issue is that these units all have been purchased and are occupied. This only occurs in a certain unit style. This style will not be built in the future, therefore the variance would only be for the seven units in question.
Mr. Eastridge cited the unique features of the lot which required that the site be constructed very densely and with the buildings in close proximity to one another.
Mr. Eastridge theorized how this may have happened however he does know that the owners want these porches to remain as they are.
Mr. Norris stated that he does understand that the lot is unique however he feels that the hardship was self-imposed. He asked Mr. Eastridge to address this. He referred again to how tightly this community was constructed and he believes the final design is appropriate for this type of “new urbanism”.
Ms. Risser noted that since the applicant is request 2 ½ feet could the curbing not be moved further out to eliminate the need for the variance and make the roads one way. Mr. Eastridge stated that this would narrow the roadways and he explained why making them one ways would not be feasible.
Ms. Schafer questioned whether the decision to follow a particular building design constitutes a hardship.
Ms. Cooper asked how this mistake was missed. Mr. Eastridge explained that when this process was begun they had a different surveyor than they do now. This particular surveyor did the as-builts on the foundation that was poured for the porches. The decks and the covers for the stoops are done last and cannot be done until an as-built is done for the foundation. The first unit that was completed was the model home and once it was completed all other units are built to look like just like it. Therefore when the mistake was not caught on the first unit it was also not caught on those that were built after. Ms. Cooper argues that it should have been caught in 2008 but instead they continued to build these incorrectly until the last building of this style was completed and sold in 2014. Mr. Eastridge
stated that he was not aware of this issue until this past fall when it was brought to his attention.
Mr. Pietrasiak asked if the previous approvals declare where the front of the building is. He cited an example as to why he asked this. He explained that if one of the units’ frontage was changed to another side of the property then there would be enough frontage. Mr. Eastridge said he would look into whether this is feasible.
Ms. Nevits suggested that the haring be continued in order to allow the applicant research some of the suggestions given this evening as many of the members are seeing this as a self imposed hardship.
Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to continue the hearing for 12 Wheeler Road to May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM.
Vote: 5-0-0, Jill Schafer, Jason Mauro and Pamela Cooper not voting.
Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to accept the minutes of March 12, 2015 as corrected.
Vote: 8-0-0, Unanimous.
At 8:00 PM, Todd Pietrasiak seconded by Darja Nevits, moved to adjourn.
Vote: 8-0-0, Unanimous
Document List April 9, 2015
Petition 1060 – 12 Wheeler Road, Variance 18.104.22.168 c
Minutes of March 12, 2015